Artisan Feature: Creative Critters

In the third installment of my Artisan Features of fellow Artfire artists, here is Michelle from Creative Critters and her answers to my bunch of questions:

1) If you had to work by a creative mission what would it be? "Love what you do". I get great pleasure from all my creations, and hope that my customers get pleasure from them as well.

2) Have you had any creative disasters? Creative disasters? -but of course! I've super glued my fingers together, dropped unbaked sculptures on the way to the oven, spilled everything from paint, to glitter, to embossing powder. But you clean up your mess and move on (hopefully before the cats track embossing powder all over the house!)

3) What is your favourite item in your collection? My favorite item is kind of hard to choose. I form a real attachment to all my pieces. Two of my favorites right now are my Plush World of Warcraft Tauren Hunter and his Pet Lion, and my Scorch the Rockin' Dragon sculpture. I put a LOT of work into both of those.

4) Sum up your collection for me: My collection could certainly be considered "varied". I have a good variety of polymer clay sculptures (lots of fantasy, whimsical, animals, pens, miniature houses), then I also sew cloth dolls and plush World of Warcraft characters, make mixed media jewelry, and knit stuffed animals. I like making use of my many creative skills, plus I'm always picking up new crafts.

5) Is there another craft you would like to try? Metal clay looks pretty interesting, and glass beads have always fascinated me, but for the moment I can't afford new equipment, materials, and tutorial books. Maybe by the time I'm 90 I'll have mastered every craft that catches my attention!

6) What is your favourite craft store? I do a lot of business with JoAnn Etc. They're the closest craft store in my area, but I've been wandering the web more lately, and of course Artfire has some really great supply stores as well. I get a lot of my stuff from flea markets, garage sales, and donations from friends and family. I recycle everything I can and try to find creative uses for otherwise unusable items.

7) From where do you draw your inspiration? The entire world of
fantasy gives me tons of inspiration, be it movies, anime, paintings,
books, anything fantasy oriented grabs my attention and puts new ideas in my head. I also get a lot of inspiration from nature and animals. Really, I can find inspiration in nearly anything. I've got more ideas than I could ever complete in a single lifetime.

8) What made you do this for a business? I was born an artist, and when people offered to actually pay me to do what I loved, what choice did I have? I'm still amazed that people like my work as much as I do. I really can't imagine doing anything else (although I've had plenty of other jobs, none were very fulfilling). I wouldn't be "me" if I couldn't create.

9) How do you like online selling? I love it! I don't have to cart my stuff all over, from show to show, or ship everything to a consignment store where I have no control over anything. I can post the pictures I choose, write up a detailed description, even let people in on my inspiration for a particular piece. And I can communicate with tons of like minded people all over the world. And I absolutely ADORE Artfire. The staff is great, the artisans are great, the whole experience on this site has been wonderful.

10) What tip can you pass to a new online seller? Promote, promote, promote! It really works! Before Artfire I didn't know a thing about promoting my work or social networking. Now I'm on Facebook, MySpace, ByHand.me, JoAnn.com, Flickr, and I have a blog, Since February, I've had more than 7000 views, and a lot of those clicked over from my other sites. Posting in the forums is another good way to get yourself out there. People have to see you in order to buy from you (plus it's so much fun chatting with the other artists!).

11) Describe yourself in 5 words: Creative, Caring, Unique, Organic, Passionate

12) What has been your favourite vacation/holiday? Christmas. I make gifts for everyone in my family and I love seeing their faces when they open them. I try very hard to make them something very special and personalized. Plus I just love getting together with family, especially now that I've got young cousins, nieces, and nephews to play with. I don't have any kids of my own, but I really love kids.

13) What is a favourite film of yours? Hayou Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro. It's a wonderful anime with great characters and a delightful story. I've seen it quite a few times and it always makes me smile.

Thanks Michelle - now take a look at this spotlight on Creative Critters, I have to say, my favourites are the houses!!

Thursday, 23 July 2009 | 0 Comments

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